Hayes on Brighton clash: “We’ve got to go out onto the pitch swinging”

Anthony Hayes on the touchline

The Addicks host Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, at The Valley on Wednesday and Caretaker Manager, Anthony Hayes, wants to see his side attack the game with enthusiasm.

Charlton are the only London-side remaining in the Carabao Cup and a bumper crowd is expected for the fourth round tie.

Hayes said: “They are a great side to watch. There is lots to admire about how they play. They have got lots of wonderful players and they are very well coached and their new coach has stamped his identity on the team very, very quickly after a wonderful job Graham Potter has done. For us these are great games, let’s not beat around the bush, we’ve got a Premier League side coming to The Valley, we have nothing to lose. We have to go out onto the pitch swinging.

“We’ve got to pick the best group of players available, game-by-game. It’s a wonderful game for us to play, it’s a free hit for us. We’ll play with a little bit of freedom and no fear because no-one expects us to get a result, so we’ll use that to our advantage.

“They are very fluid in how they play with the ball. They have a plethora of talent at their disposal. These are the games you want to be involved in as a coach and certainly as a player. It should be an occasion we look forward to regardless of the form at the moment and everything that is going on at the club.”

Striker Miles Leaburn returned to the squad on Saturday after a spell on the sidelines. The 18-year-old played much of the last half hour. Hayes said: “We’ll access how he’s recovered to 30 minutes on Saturday. I think it is credit to Miles and how he has completed his rehabilitation programme at the club and how he has looked after himself. He is a fit boy as everyone can see. We’ll see how he’s recovered from Saturday before making any plans for him going in to Wednesday.

“Terell [Thomas] will train today. It will be his first full training session with the group, so we’ll have to see how he comes through Monday and Tuesday before again looking at the squad for Brighton.

“In terms of the other long-termers, none of them will be back but Craig MacGillivray, who missed the weekend through illness, and DJ [Diallang Jaiyesimi], who also missed the weekend through illness, will both train today fully with the group which will give us additional options.”

The game could see a former Addick start for the Seagulls. Jeremy Sarmiento joined the club’s academy as an U12, before joining Benfica in 2018 and moving to Brighton two years later.

Hayes said: “Jeremy was here a long time. I had the pleasure of working with him for two full seasons, he’s a great kid, a great family. We were obviously disappointed to lose him at the end of his U16 season. He’s travelled to Benfica, ended up at Brighton, he’s a full Ecuador international who has played at the World Cup. What more can you say about a young boy. It is brilliant to see from a distance how his young career is developing.”

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